November 25, 2009
Shocking. Another day, another editorial in the Press Enterprise blasting the constitutional rights of politically-charged defendants Bill Postmus and Jim Erwin.
In a wholly-unsubstantiated editorial the PE criticizes former county official Jim Erwin and former county elected official Bill Postmus for exercising the rights granted them by the legal system.
The PE called a perfectly acceptable court motion by Jim Erwin an “assault” on that legal system, and praised the ruling’s outcome that resulted in a setback for Erwin.
The PE continues its unrelenting campaign against Bill Postmus and those associated with his former office. In the eyes of the Riverside Press Enterprise, Postmus, et al, are not innocent until proven guilty, they are guilty. Period.
In the PE’s opinion the guilt of Postmus – and Erwin – is assured because the elected district attorney says it is. Case closed.
One would think that prosecutorial supremacy would be relegated to the annals of history, as seen in South America under right-wing military juntas or in the former USSR.
Sorry, PE editorial board. It doesn’t work that way in the United States.
Bill Postmus and his “cronies” (their word, not ours) have every right to exercise the legal tools available to them. That means filing court motions, requests for information, issuing court pleadings, and seeking resolution via the proper process.
We have these rights because the founders realized that, by it’s nature, the government has far more resources than an individual can ever hope to have. Even so, an individual can be charged without merit, and when the individual is a public figure, being charged is as bad as being convicted.
What Postmus and Erwin are doing is nothing different from the actions of hundreds of defendants in courtrooms across this country
in every criminal case.
But the case against Postmus is different. It was launched by a political officer against other political officers. There is an obvious conflict, yet the PE continues to stick their head in the sand and ignore obvious facts.
District Attorney Mike Ramos is a controversial politician, and his investigation should be questioned and analyzed, so that the public
can be assured the investigation’s conclusions are 100% accurate.
This ambitious politician has already cost county taxpayers $350,000 for illegally firing a potential political rival. He is currently under two investigations for malfeasance. He has raised and accepted contributions from convicted money launderers.
Youthful politician Bill Postmus and former street deputy sheriff Jim Erwin are an embarrassment to the county after being charged by a district attorney with Ramos’ baggage?
The Riverside Press Enterprise’s blatant and shocking refusal to launch their investigations into the public life of Mike Ramos and his actions and conduct is a gross dereliction of duty.
Edward Murrow and Walter Cronkite would be appalled.
Rushing to judgment and accepting a prosecutor’s version of events means the PE would be right at home in Videla’s Argentina or Stalinist Russia.
The PE needs to end this double standard in their treatment of Ramos’ prisoners versus the reported ethical shortfalls of Ramos himself.